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Jaymee Beveridge named the new Vice-President (Indigenous Strategy & Engagement)

Jaymee Beveridge named the new Vice-President (Indigenous Strategy & Engagement)

UOW graduate brings first-hand experience and extensive knowledge to executive team

The University of Wollongong (UOW) is delighted to announce the appointment of Jaymee Beveridge to the new executive role of Vice-President (Indigenous Strategy & Engagement), effective immediately. 

A proud Aboriginal woman with family ties to the Torres Strait Islands, Ms Beveridge brings immense experience, knowledge and perspective to the newly created role that will be instrumental in enabling her to build on her work guiding and championing the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders students and staff.

A UOW graduate, Ms Beveridge was the first in her family to attend University, graduating with a Bachelor Arts followed by a Master of Business Administration a few years later. For the past five years, she has been Director of Woolyungah Indigenous Centre and, in 2021, was appointed Executive Director (Indigenous Strategy).

A true example of the power of higher education to open doors, Ms Beveridge will continue to drive the University’s progress in creating a place where inclusion, respect, equity, and diversity are at the heart of every decision.

In her new role, Ms Beveridge will navigate the balance between strategy and engagement, working with community to bring UOW’s mission to life, as a place where all students from all backgrounds can access a world-class education. She will also continue to lead Woolyungah Indigenous Centre.

Ms Beveridge said she was immensely proud to be the first person to take on the new position as Vice-President (Indigenous Strategy & Engagement).

“I am excited and am completely in touch with the enormity of the role,” she said. “I come from a line of ancestors who spoke little because of the colour of their skin and they carried a great sense of shame for being the 'other'. For many reasons silence was their tool for survival. 

“As a child my ongoing birthday wish was to wake up with darker skin, until my grandfather reassured me that I had fair skin for a purpose. He told me I would sit in spaces where 'white people' would listen to me because they would see themselves. He guided me to use my voice for the betterment of those who need to be heard. 

“I know with the creation of this role, UOW is sending a loud message about its commitment to Indigenous students, community, employment and social impact.”

UOW Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Patricia M. Davidson, congratulated Ms Beveridge and said the appointment reflected the University’s commitment to progress in ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff received the best access to higher education and other opportunities.

“From the day that Jaymee turned up to UOW in her hatchback as a single-mum and soon-to-be student, and then considered driving back out, something has drawn her to higher education. She is driven by a thirst for learning and a thirst for change,” Professor Davidson said.

“As many fellow Australians consider their vote in the upcoming referendum on the Voice to Parliament, it is a good opportunity to turn our thoughts to our own progress at UOW. “Inclusivity, respect, equity and diversity are woven into the fabric of who we are. We have come a long way in the last few years in strengthening our ties to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities but there is always more to be done.

“I am excited by Jaymee’s ability to champion further progress and to continue to be a positive force for change and leadership for all staff and students.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Sustainable Futures) Professor David Currow said Ms Beveridge will bring her tireless passion and unique perspective informed, in part,  by her own experiences as a first-in-family UOW graduate, to the role.

“I am delighted with Jaymee’s appointment. Jaymee has already demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, particularly in fostering community engagement, attracting and working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and supporting them to successful completion of their degrees,” Professor Currow said.

“Her skills, insights and experience will further strengthen the University’s ability to provide the highest quality educational experience to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Last year, UOW formally embraced the Uluru Statement from the Heart, reflecting its commitment to its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders students and staff, and ongoing support for the process of truth-telling and Constitutional reform that underpins the Uluru Statement.

The University also launched the UOW Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2022 - 2024, which aims to build stronger relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples that benefit all Australians.